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Global employment briefing: Germany, January 2018

  • Germany
  • Employment law


Changes to skilled intra-corporate transfers from outside the EU have been implemented in Germany

Germany has eased its requirements for certain international workers posted to Germany, following last August’s implementation of a European Union (EU) directive. The new law brings about the most comprehensive changes to cross-border workers’ rules since the introduction of the EU Blue Card. It is aimed at “intra-corporate transferees” (ICT) from non-EU countries and facilitates temporary assignments to the EU by international companies, including the introduction of a new residence permit – the so called ICT card.

To benefit from the new regulation, workers must be either executive employees or specialists transferred within the same group company. He or she must have at least six months’ service and the employment contract must cover the whole posting period. Qualifying workers can be assigned to work in Germany from 90 days and up to three years. Trainees can also benefit from the new law, although their posting is limited to one year. If these requirements are met, workers are eligible to apply for the new ICT card.

In addition, mobility within the EU is supported. Under the “Intra-EU Mobility Scheme”, international workers can be assigned more easily to its companies’ other legal entities in a different EU Member State. The Intra-EU Mobility Scheme is aimed at workers already holding a residence permit issued under the ICT Directive by another EU Member State. For such workers, mere notification with the competent authorities – in Germany the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Fluechtlinge – BAMF) – accompanied by supporting documents is sufficient to post the non-EU worker for 90 to 180 days in another Member State.

The transposition of this EU Directive, and the resulting standardization of residence permits for workers of non-EU companies posted to the EU, has the potential to support the global movement of workers – providing new bureaucratic burdens do not outweigh the advantages.